Who Helped Jesus Carry The Cross?

The study of the Gospels and all sorts of biblical publications requires keen attention to detail. With the fact that many stories are told from different perspectives, it’s wise to see if there are any underlying meanings behind the text. This is the case with Jesus’ crucifixion and the various events that occurred on his journey with the cross in tow.

Within the books of Matthew, Luke, and Mark, Simon of Cyrene was mentioned as the one who helped Jesus to carry the cross. However, it’s noted that he’s only mentioned sparsely within the books. This has led several faithful to question the reason for his short introduction and equally short time as a character.

In this article, we’ll look into who it was that assisted Jesus on this arduous task and how we can interpret it for ourselves. We’ll also look more into the significance of this event and the various ways others have understood it.

Also see: How Did the First Christians Learn About Jesus Christ

Who Helped Jesus Carry The Cross?

Simon of Cyrene, a passing name within the gospels, was the one who helped Jesus by sharing the burden of lifting the cross. The book of Matthew, specifically Matthew 27:32, tells of how a man from Cyrene was forced to help Jesus carry the cross. Luke 23:26 tells us more as it introduces the man as Simon from Cyrene. Finally, Mark 15:21 explores the family life of Simon as it introduces his father and mother.

One common theme with all of these passages is the short amount of time that Simon of Cyrene appears within the Crucifixion’s narrative. Another theme is that in all of these passages, Simon was forced to assist Jesus in this task. Some take this as a sign that the authors of the Gospel treated Simon as someone with notoriety within the church. Others take a more interpretative approach and pose his mention as a story of true discipleship.

To explore further the lessons that this gospel story has for all of us, we can look into how others have interpreted these events. Purposely seeking discourse regarding faith-related literature helps us to further our understanding and bring ourselves closer to a refined way of life.

Simon of Cyrene: An Example Of True Discipleship

When studying biblical writings, it’s important to take into consideration the various elements of the text. This can include settings, themes, and even historical references. Taking these to heart, we know that the man who helped Jesus came from Cyrene and is a foreigner to Jerusalem. We also know that he was just entering the city while Jesus was on his way out to Golgotha.

The Roman soldiers escorting Jesus to Golgotha then forced Simon of Cyrene to help carry the cross. Considering Jesus’ state during this time couldn’t have helped with carrying the cross, it could be seen as either a sign of pity or a way to ensure he did arrive at Golgotha.

Historically, Roman Soldiers could order civilians to carry items for around one mile. This was where the concept of the “second-mile leader” came from. In Simon’s case, this meant carrying the cross from here we can branch out to various interpretations of events. The fact that this forced assistance became a source of inspiration for the faithful is an ironic turn of events, but it could hold more substance than we realize.

Read More: What Happened on Easter Sunday in the Bible?

Bearing Our Own Crosses

One popular way of interpreting this event is that it serves as a metaphor for “carrying our own cross”. As we go about our daily activities, we find that sacrifice and burdens can be found all over. Even as we are challenged, the story can serve as inspiration for many of us to continue onward and follow the path laid for us.

Related to this point, Luke 9:23 has the line “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”. This could be a reminder of what discipleship entails and how we can apply it to our own understanding. Luke also mentions something that the other books did not: That Simon carried the cross behind Jesus.

Duty In The Face Of Hardship

We’re always told that we should follow Jesus’ example but what does this mean for us? Does it mean a life of sacrifice? One way to understand it is that we should do what we can to make our sacrifices purposeful and meaningful. Simon of Cyrene carried the cross and in that way contributed to an impactful moment in history. He dutifully fulfilled his task and found himself a symbol of divine intervention.

Faced with a vision of hardships ahead, Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane and was heard. Could we interpret this prayer not as a prayer from death, but as a prayer to ensure he completes his mission on Earth? This could be the case as Simon’s presence became a relief for Jesus no matter the duration of his assistance. It also helped Jesus reach his final destination and carry out the last steps toward his mission’s success.

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Our Lives And Carrying Our Own Crosses

Daily life can be a slog for any of us, even those who seem to have their life set up for themselves. It can surprise us with all sorts of events that make us lose focus and confidence. When push comes to shove, this story tells us to carry on and bear through it toward the goals of the day.

At the same time, it also tells us how changing the direction of our lives can help us to make a larger impact within our own lives. Much like how Simon went the opposite direction to aid Jesus, we should be ready to take similar steps when the time comes to serve him. Reflecting on these stories and seeing how we can apply them to our own faithful efforts can be the difference in the end of the day. Take in opportunities to do good and you can be assured your actions will impact your day and the days of others.

Must Read: What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

Dave P
Dave P
Be a little better today than yesterday.

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